The Nagaland government has appealed to the Nagaland In-service Doctors’ Association (NIDA) to withdraw its proposed agitation scheduled to begin from April 12 and instead join hands with the government to find an early solution to its demand.

In a letter to NIDA president on Saturday, Nagaland chief secretary J Alam said the association’s demand for increasing the superannuation age of doctors is still under consideration of the government.

“Since the Disaster Management Act, 2005, is still in force and the health services are an essential service under the Nagaland Essential Services (Maintenance Act, 1978,) such disruptive action will be illegal,” the letter said.

The Nagaland government warned that the disruption in health services would be extremely detrimental for the general public at this point of time.

“The Cabinet in its last meeting on April 7 had deferred the matter for further consultation and that the matter is not closed, but still under consideration,” Nagaland chief secretary Alam said in the letter.

Stating that the government has been actively considering the matter since it was reopened in December 2020, Alam said the matter has been taken up twice by the Cabinet, besides consultations with student bodies through the Cabinet sub-committee headed by the deputy chief minister.

Alam said he along with senior government officials held a meeting with the NIDA representatives with regard to the proposed mass casual leave from April 12 and subsequent cessation of routine works.

During the meeting, Alam impressed upon the office-bearers of NIDA that like the rest of the country, Nagaland is under the threat of a second wave of the Covid19 pandemic and that the vaccination drive needs to be intensified and testing, tracking and treatment of Covid cases have to be continued without any disruption.

The Nagaland chief secretary assured the officials and members of the NIDA that all efforts would be made so that the consultation process is fast-tracked.

He invited the office-bearers to be part of the consultations and joint reviews on a fortnightly basis.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com